Cold Weather Pattern and Dental Issues

As those of us who are in Accra have realized, the weather has changed suddenly. This sudden change started around the last week of July, with mornings and evenings becoming colder than usual. The meteorologists would tell you that August is the coldest month in Ghana, with most tourists also enjoying the weather due to how more conducive it is on their skin. I know some of you might be wondering what this has got to do with dentistry? Well there is this anecdotal evidence that shows there is a positive correlation with increased dental acute emergencies during these periods. The same can be said for winter for those in the temperate regions.

The bottomline here is, if you have had a tooth problem (cavities, toothache, sensitivity, etc.), which seemed to have not been a bother, there is a higher chance that it can become more problematic during this period. It is for these reasons that we end up seeing more patients with dental abscesses (boils related to the tooth), Ludwig’s Angina (a life threatening abscess around the floor of the mouth), severe toothaches, etc.

My advice is for those who are aware of their dental issues to visit the nearest clinic for the right interventional therapies. For those who are not aware that they have these issues, I would advise that they should also NOT resort to popping pain medications since these would only take care of the pain but make the infections progress. The end result is their conditions become worse and you might end up paying more money for treatment. I have already seen the number of my patients presenting with abscesses increasing. I hope this cautionary message reaches all and sundry well enough.

Let’s act on oral health now! Save yourself from one of the worst pain, dental pain, in this life.

Take action and see your oral health practitioner now.

Thanks and do leave a feedback.

Interdental Cleaning Using The Floss (Part I)

Aside from those that are bold enough to dare say they are not going to clean their mouth on the daily, the next scary thing when it comes to keeping your mouth and teeth clean is refusing to clean the interdental area.

Interdental cleaning simply refers to the act of cleaning the anatomical space(s) in between where two or more teeth meet. Another name for this procedure is interproximal cleaning, since these adjacent areas between the teeth are called interproximal areas. These spaces are naturally filled by the gingival(gum) papillae, unless the person happens to have huge space(s) called diastema(ta). (I must add that for some African cultures having a diastema is a sign of beauty and identity while other cultures like the Americans consider it an abnormality). I have one though and I at times wonder whether it does make me more beautiful?

On a more serious note, why should we be concerned with cleaning these areas? Well, statistically speaking, every time you brush your teeth due to the nature of the toothbrush, one is unable to clean in between these interproximal areas. The resulting scenario is that you end up missing the opportunity of cleaning about 35% of your tooth surface.

Coupled with this is the fact that these areas are so tight that we end up with a lot of food debris getting stuck in these areas. It is for this reason that interdental areas are the commonest sites for commencement of caries (cavities or “kaka”) and periodontal (gum) diseases. It is therefore necessary that one takes the utmost care of this area so not to fall victim to any of the diseases associated there.

This can simply be avoided with the use of interdental cleaning aids. There are a myriad of them for this purpose. In lieu of preventing any insidious carious or periodontal disease lesion one can use interdental cleaning aids such floss, superfloss and toothpick, among others.

Some examples of interdental cleaning aids

It is paramount to mention that interdental cleaning aids were introduced because it was noticed that most of the brushing techniques resulted in incomplete plaque removal between (interproximal space of) the teeth. Due to this, a lot of dental and periodontal diseases were noticed to be developing from these interproximal areas. It is important therefore that most people should pay particular attention and use the right techniques for these areas when cleaning their mouths. As dentists, we recommend that one uses a dental floss or an interdental brush for this purpose while advising against the use of toothpick since this is traumatic to the gums.

Let us now focus on how the floss, the commonest of the interdental aid, is used:

Application of floss

The string method:

Start by fetching an approximate 18 inches (45 centimetres) of fresh thread of floss from the container;

Container holding the fresh floss
  1. Wind almost all of the floss around each middle finger allowing for about 5-6cm of clean floss to work with (number 1 in the picture below);
  2. Anchor the floss tautly between the two index fingers and thumbs then proceed to slide it gently back and forth and up and down against and in between the tooth surfaces (number 2-4 in the picture below);
  3. Make sure you do not use excessive force when getting towards the gum tissues otherwise you would traumatize the place and cause your gums to bleed;
  4. Wrap the used floss around the middle finger while you release a fresh portion of string of floss from the other hand for use from one tooth to another tooth.
Summary of the String flossing method

Floss holder method:

Due to how technically challenging the string method is with emphasis on the dexterity of the user, a lot of people normally find it difficult when they are new to flossing. Thus, it is mainly used by the oral care professionals and those who are familiar with the flossing procedure. Consequently, another method was developed to make flossing easier and more user friendly for both the professionals and patients; this is the use of a floss holder or the floss handle method.

This method does away with the complexities of trying to anchor the floss between both hands via the addition of a handle for the floss. All the user needs to do is hold the prefabricated handle attached to the floss and one can immediately start flossing away.  Alternatively, one can also fetch a piece of fresh string floss and anchor it unto a floss holder or handle that is packaged with some floss. This helps make the process easier and saves up on the length of floss as compared to the string method.

Sample of a Flosser with handle in use

Kindly follow this link to a 2 minute video  summarizing both flossing methods.

I hope this would also inspire you to floss once daily.

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The video is by kind courtesy: Griswold dental associates.

THE RIGHT TECHNIQUES OF CLEANING OUR MOUTHS – BRUSHING, TONGUE CLEANING AND FLOSSING (PART I)

Averagely, there is one thing that we all do every day when we rise up from bed. I know most people would say pray, read your Bible, yawn and stretch, others are even thinking exercise. What I am talking about is washing of our faces and cleaning of our mouths. Kudos to all those who guessed that right. It becomes very important that this daily routine is paid particular attention to if it is to serve us well for the rest of our lives.

There are several ways of cleaning our mouths. Some of these include the use of mechanical plaque control devices like chewing sticks and chewing sponges, toothpaste and toothbrush, chemical plaque control agents such as mouth rinses or mouthwashes, flossing and tongue cleaning devices.

I am not recommending that one should do all of these at a go, rather, these are just some of the ways people have naturally tried to clean their mouths. No matter how good a tool is, if not used appropriately, one cannot harness its full potential and it can even lead to self-injury if misused or misapplied. The same applies to tooth brushing: we must use the right technique otherwise we are likely to end up with either poor results or even injuring ourselves during the process. For the rest of this article, the focus would be on the use of the right technique. The toothbrush is the most commonly used material to clean the teeth. Although others use chewing sticks and chewing sponges, these are in the minority. There are a number of techniques when it comes to using the toothbrush. These were mentioned in our previous article and include; the bass or sulcus cleaning method, modified bass technique, modified Stillmann’s technique, Fone’s or circular scrub method, Vertical or Leonard’s method, Charter’s method and the roll technique as well as the physiologic or Smith method.

This article advocates for the modified bass technique since it is widely recommended by most dentists for routine oral hygiene care. The technique goes like this:

1. Position the toothbrush by placing it at an angle of 45⁰ degrees to the teeth and gum surfaces;

2. Always start at the back or “molar” teeth region of either the facial (side facing outside), then move to the lingual/palatal (inner facing side) surfaces. Then work the toothbrush towards the front teeth moving brushing three teeth at a go;

3. Repeat till you reach the other side of the upper arch or set of teeth;

4. Then repeat it for the other arch;

5. Lastly for the occlusal (chewing) surfaces use short, brisk but firm scrubbing strokes to clean this area.

 It is advisable to stroke each area about 10-20 times, spending about 10 seconds per area before moving to the next area.

Below are pictures to aid in getting the message across.

After cleaning your teeth it is important to use the back of the head of the toothbrush, or a tongue cleaner to clean the tongue. You should also floss to clean in between your teeth.

For those using chewing sticks and chewing sponges, you can add some toothpaste to get additional protection from the fluoride, calcium and other ions. For babies, mothers can use a piece of gauze/finger toothbrush and some paediatric toothpaste for cleaning their mouth. Care should be taken so that the child does not swallow the toothpaste.

After brushing, it is advisable that one just expectorates (spits out) the foam from the process of brushing but does not immediately rinse his or her mouth. They should just rinse their lips free of any toothpaste foam. This is to allow the fluoride, calcium and other ions in the toothpaste to permeate (move into the) tooth surface (enamel) and fortify it to make it stronger. This is the topical effect of the toothpaste, and can only be realized if there is ample time elapsing after the application of the toothpaste on the tooth surfaces. This, when done, would protect one from cavities rather than immediately rinsing out after brushing.

In the next article I would talk about flossing and interdental cleaning.

Kindly leave a thank you, or comment after reading.

Source of photos: D. Lakshmi(BDS): Seminar on tooth brushing technique on slideshare.https://www.slideshare.net/lakshmi01071994/brushing-techniques-70870057

READY TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH?

Prior to brushing, an individual would need the following items ready in their right quantity or proportions:

  1. A soft – medium bristled toothbrush: To know how, kindly read my last published article;
  2. Pea or groundnut-sized amount of toothpaste: Another way of measuring this is to squeeze the tube of toothpaste once across the brush;
The right quantity of toothpaste for brushing

3. Water: This could either be in a cup/sachet/bottle or from the tap but the most preferred is fluoridated water;

4. Face mirror: To aid in ensuring that one has cleaned up well after the brushing process.

5. Other cleaning devices like Interdental cleaning devices (dental floss), tongue cleaner (use the back of your brush if you don’t have one – To know how, kindly read my last published article);

6. The human being: Well, you must be available (hahahaha!);

7. The right/appropriate cleaning technique according to your dental needs:

  • Normal or healthy adult – Modified Bass technique;
  • Receding gums and periodontal disease – Modified Stillman’s or Bass / Modified Bass Technique;
  • Children – Vertical Method / Technique, then Modified Bass Technique later;
  • Dexterity challenges (children, emotionally or physically challenged persons) – Circular Method/ Roll Technique;
  • Special dental needs like braces – Charter’s Method.

The major issues with brushing consist of the amount of effort being exerted, the use of too much abrasive (toothpaste) and dexterity challenges. These usually lead to most people either “overbrushing”, which easily leads to some gingival (gum) or tooth tissue loss or “underbrushing”, which also leads to gum diseases and cavities. Thus, it is very important to balance this act so that one does not err by either overbrushing or underbrushing.

Gingival recession and tooth tissue loss from over brushing
Poor oral health from underbrushing

The invention of the electric toothbrush provides a window of opportunity to avoid the effects of either over or underbrushing. How? Most electric toothbrushes have programmable settings that make them convenient at delivering measured forces when it comes to the brushing process. They also neutralize the challenges of dexterity, be it among children, the elderly or persons with special needs.

In the next article we would go into the most commonly used technique of tooth brushing – the Modified Bass Technique

Thank you for reading and kindly leave a comment!

CLEAN YOUR MOUTH NOT BRUSH YOUR TEETH!(part 2)

For toothbrushes, there are also a lot on the market, however, the focus is to assess their dental need and dexterity (ease of use of the hand) of the user. Some people would be better off with electric toothbrushes(those with limited use of their hands) while others(most of us) would be fine with the manual type.

The two types of toothbrushes

The most important factor in choosing a toothbrush has to do with the right bristled consistency. As dentists, we recommend that you use a soft to medium bristle toothbrush. This is to minimize damage to your teeth and gums.  I would put a caution that there is no correlation between the result of the whiteness of the teeth and how vigorous one brushes. The trick if there ever was one lies in the technique of brushing – a topic for our next article.

Various bristled toothbrush consistencies

Please and please if you know you are not a smoker there is no need for you to go and buy a hard/firm bristle toothbrush meant for smokers unless you have plans of becoming one.

I started off by stating that the term should be cleaning your mouth rather than brushing your teeth. The reason for that statement is to make people understand that they are supposed to clean all the structures in their mouth. This includes the teeth, gums, tongue and the roof of the mouth. By so doing, one would end up cleaning their entire mouth by the time they are done. To achieve this, people must use other adjuncts like the floss and the tongue scraper/cleaner in addition to the toothpaste and toothbrush for cleaning their teeth. The habit of using broomsticks is not only unhygienic but also traumatic to the gums in cleaning in between the teeth. The dental floss should be used as the alternative to this.

Tongue cleaner/scraper
Dental floss

For the tongue scraper, it can be one of the life-changing dental devices to help combat bad breath(halitosis). This is because the tongue surface, if not carefully cleaned, can become a niche for trapping food particles. These then decompose and begin to cause bad breath. Unfortunately, these tongue scrappers are not readily available to many people; but I am going to show you one that you can use to solve this issue.

Some of the best toothbrush companies have identified this challenge and have decided to solve the need by modifying their toothbrushes to have a two-in-one bristle and tongue scraper. The scraper is placed on the opposite side of the bristles. The next time you purchase a toothbrush, let that be a deciding factor for your purchase.

Tongue cleaner behind a manual toothbrush
Tongue cleaner behind a toothbrush

I hope that from now on we would all take particular care when it comes to cleaning our mouths and not just rush through the brushing process as though it were just a normal routine. This is because as I stated earlier the purpose is cleaning of the mouth and not just brushing of the teeth.

With the right brush and the right toothpaste in addition to the right technique of tooth brushing we can definitely ensure that all our pearly white teeth can retain their shine and last us throughout our lives.

In the next article, we would discuss the right techniques of cleaning our mouths –brushing, flossing and tongue scraping.

Thanks and kindly leave a comment.

Clean Your Mouth Not Brush Your Teeth! (part 1)

Today, we are going to tackle the issue of “cleaning our mouths”. Yes! I personally believe that that should be the phrase; and what we should ask each other when we wake up is, “have you cleaned your mouth today?” instead of “have you brushed your teeth?”

Why should we even bother to clean our mouths? The simple answer to that is this: the mouth is the dirtiest body part there is. Therefore, leaving it uncared for would not only make it dirtier, but also, put your everyday live and health at risk. Some of these include bad breath or halitosis, bleeding gums or gingivitis, dental caries and cavities, gradual loss of gum and surrounding bone for your teeth, mobile teeth, discoloured teeth, and a host of other systemic diseases.

It is for the prevention of the above conditions that since antiquity humans have always strived to keep their mouth clean. While some chewed shrubs or tree barks, others like the Romans at a point used the urine of the Portuguese to clean their mouths. Seems disgusting but there is science to back up that act as being “sound”. Fortunately, we have the modern alternatives in the form of inventions such our toothpaste and other mouth cleansing devices like the toothbrushes, floss, tongue scrapper, chewing sticks and sponges and mouthwashes or rinses.

Cleaning your tongue is part of cleaning your mouth.

The focus of the rest of today’s topic is going to be on the “efficient and proper” use of the toothbrush and toothpaste in cleaning our mouths. The reason for this is that globally, these are the most commonly used tools to maintain proper personal oral hygiene.

Toothpastes: These are pastelike substances packaged into tubes and are used to clean the mouth. They consist of five major constituents namely: the abrasive, the fluoride, flavour and sweetener, detergent/surfactant and humectant.

Abrasive: This substance together with the toothbrush helps remove stains and food debris. It serves as a polishing material. The analogy goes like this: like a sandpaper, the toothbrush is the paper unto which the “abrasive”, which in this case is the toothpaste, is coated for use.

Fluoride: This is a mineral that plays an active role in protecting the teeth against cavities. All your selected toothpaste must have this.

Surfactant/ detergent: This is responsible for the foaming of your toothpaste.

Flavour and sweeteners: This is responsible for how your toothpaste tastes. It is unique to the brand and a major determinant when it comes to individual preferences, resulting in some people going for one brand over the other.

Humectants: This is responsible for your toothpaste being moist over its lifetime. They also aid in allowing you to squeeze the toothpaste out of its tube.

The emphasis when it comes to toothpaste is to consider the following when you are making your purchasing choice: It must be fluoridated, and have the seal of approval from the Fédération Dentaire Internationale (fdi) and you should not be reactive to it.

The FDI seal of approval on the bottom left of this toothpaste box

You must also bear in mind that children and adults have varied dental needs and thus they must not use the same toothpastes. We recommended parents get the right toothpaste for their children to avoid any complications.

End of part 1

Thank you for reading and kindly leave a comment.

COVID-19 AND DENTISTRY

It is a known fact that the novel Corona virus disease(Covid-19) has affected all aspects of life especially healthcare. This is more particular in some specialties than others, for example we have come to appreciate the role of public/community health on a different level as a specialty. Another health area greatly affected is dentistry. As a specialty, we dentists are in uncharted waters since this pandemic started. This is because we primarily work in the region of the face which puts us in close proximity to the route of transfer of this virus. This puts dentistry as one of the healthcare profession at a higher risk. Due to this disposition, directives were put across for dentists to only see emergency cases.

Through this directive we were to stop procedures that generate aerosols -a mixture of air and the oral secretions content- it was our own way of trying to curb the spread of Covid-19. The implication of the restrictions meant we could not meet the needs of patients that are turning up for aerosol producing procedures like cleaning/scaling or those procedures that involve the use of “handpieces”.

The absence of the “handpieces” and “scaling” procedures further meant your local dentist was and is still limited in what they can do to meet your dental need.

 In the event of you having a dental need, what can be done for you?

The best thing is for you to book or see your dentist for him or her to take a look at your clinical symptoms and signs-“checkup”. After examination, you would be classified as an emergency or conservative patient. Emergency cases are patients whose conditions require immediate or urgent attention. A lack of such an intervention can either lead to worsening patient’s condition or even death. Yes dental conditions if left untreated can kill you! Some example of dental emergencies include: severe toothache, trauma, progressive dental abscesses /“boil” such as Ludwig’s  angina, etc. For conservative conditions these could be a mild to moderate toothache, some wisdom tooth pain, bleeding gums ,mobile teeth, sensitivity to hot or cold foods, and cavities among others.

After your dental examination and classification, you would be placed into one of the above two categories. If you are an emergency patient based on your presentation, you may need admission for close monitoring in a life threatening scenario or an immediate procedure such as an extraction (removal of the tooth), stitching or suturing, or draining of some abscesses to help improve your condition. This would normally be followed by a course of appropriate medications be it antibiotics, fluids (drip), pain relief or analgesics. Some emergencies may also be managed conservatively by stabilizing the patient until the appropriate procedure can be done or an outright referral to a higher centre for better care.

For conservative management, your dentist may simply give you medications and reassure you to come back for a review while he keeps a close eye on your condition for the next step or action. This is termed “watch and wait” approach. Some common medications used include painkillers/analgesics, antibiotics, desensitizing toothpastes including mouthwashes followed by you to coming for a review  My colleagues and I is some instances ,find it interesting when some patients fail to understand that sometimes the best you can do for them is to put them on medications and ask then to return for further management. They would argue with you to the moon and back making it look like you are deliberately denying them your service. Although at times the best you can do is to wait for your body to perform its own healing and appreciate that the watch and wait approach is in your best of interest. So the next time any health care professional asks you to watch and wait, kindly do bear with them.

So far in my facility and other dental facilities should you present with any dental conditions this is what your dentist is most likely do for you.

Swelling due to a broken or carious tooth

1. Appropriate medications, warm salt mouthwash, wait for swelling to reduce for either an extraction or a more invasive “complex” procedure

Moderate to severe toothache

  1. Immediate removal of tooth (extraction) or
  2. Medications and root canal therapy later

Mild toothache

  1. Extraction or
  2. Temporary filling
  3. Based on some cavities, and x-ray film results a simple filling can suffice

Missing teeth/mobile teeth

Take measurements for new sets of artificial teeth

  1. Removable teeth(dentures) now or
  2. Fixed teeth later based on affordability and doctor’s assessment

Bleeding gums

1. Ideal situation is to do scaling and polishing( hand scaling if necessary)

2. Warm salt mouth rinse/ medicated mouthwash

3. Appointment for cleaning

NB: We as professionals are trying our best to see all emergencies that present to our the best of our ability.

We hope to win the fight against this virus so we can continue to serve you better. Until things return to normal, continue to wash your hands with soap under running water and be safe.

Thank you for reading and kindly leave a comment.

WHY I CHOSE TO BECOME A DENTIST (Part 2)

 As to how Kwame broke his tooth, he recalled that he fell through a childhood accident while playing. Like most people back then, his parents did the best they could to manage the pain and swelling that resulted from the fall, but failed to seek professional advice on the right solution to the broken tooth. Kwame would end up having a non-charming smile while growing up with the rest of the fractured tooth, until our meeting in SHS.

I still remember the first time, I saw him smile and I just could not keep my eyes off how “awkward” it looked. There was something about it that was just “unaesthetic” or “off” in my “dental” eyes then. Unfortunately, he also loved to smile a lot. So here I was with a friend who loved to smile but would suddenly retreat into his cage and defenses when others used this defect to tease him. I felt empathetic and at times miserable for Kwame’s plight.

After the hilarious yet unfortunate “Mr. Teethman” incident in class, the name stuck to him like glue! During one evening prep session, I had an epiphany while talking with my friend. I remembered a visit I had once made to a professional at the 37 military hospital in Accra, where my teeth were cleaned and polished free of some yellowish substance called “calculus.” I recalled how the procedure had boosted my confidence in the way I smiled. With this experience in mind, I anxiously suggested to my friend to seek some professional help.

During our 2010 long semester vacation, he finally saw a dentist, and came back with what I later got to know as a composite filling or “white filling” for short. And oh boy did he smile more widely and confidently when we met! In fact that first day we returned to school was one of the happiest I had ever seen him smile. The whole class was also surprised at the outcome that he could get his tooth restored and it could still look natural. Just like that, I got inspired to go into the art and science of boosting people’s smiles and their confidence.

Fast forward some seven (7) years into the future, here I was graduating from the premier dental school in Ghana, with the vision and mission of making and creating healthier, happier and confident smiles. I would go on to give hope to other SHS students like my friend received by treating and managing their oral health conditions. As well as treating other oral health demands and issues of patients I meet on a daily basis. So far my dental dream continues as far as the horizon I see. And my friend, well, he is happily smiling and working for the social media giant, Twitter.

Thank you for reading. Remember to be a beacon of hope wherever you find yourself!

Comments are welcome!

YOUR ORAL HEALTH CARE AND HOME CARE: HOW DO YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR ORAL HEALTH?

Hello everyone! Today we are going to tackle the issue of our oral health needs at home – a term called oral health home care. As most people are aware, there are two major aspects of oral health care –  home care (what you do at home) and professional care (what the dentists or other oral health specialists do for you or with you).

Oral health, according to Fédération Dentaire Internationale(FDI), is defined as being multi-faceted and includes the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and convey a range of emotions through facial expressions with confidence and without pain, discomfort and disease of the craniofacial complex.

Yes, I know some of these words are technical but I would throw some light on these soon. Multi-faceted just means in different aspects. Craniofacial complex refers to the structures of the head and facial regions. Surprisingly, this is also the most distinguishing of all structures in the human body when it comes to imparting unique identities to individuals [www.springer.com/chapter/10].

The focus of today’s post would be on the importance of oral home care. Oral home care is the set of protocols, recommendations or instructions one practices on their own at home to help maintain their oral health. This is particularly important from a statistical point of view because there are more patients than there are enough dentists to attend to them all. What this means is that even if we dentists want to spend all our time with you during your twice-annual routine visit, we cannot realistically meet this target because we have other patients we are obliged to also see. Notably, if your oral home care is on point it becomes increasingly beneficial to you when you visit your dentists. How?

Picture this analogy, imagine you brush your teeth consistently twice daily for each of the 365 days in a year. Let’s say averagely you take about 2 minutes per brush session, which means 4 minutes each day. Now when this is multiplied for the year this comes to about 30 hours, which is far more than your routine annual two hours dental visit would last.

Not only is this daily investment in your mouth going to help prevent some of the commonest forms of oral diseases like dental caries(cavities) and periodontal( gum) diseases but it can also help lessen the need for subsequent more extensive and expensive dental procedures in the future – something we all don’t want you to go through unless it is absolutely necessary. This is why good oral home care like twice daily brushing, daily interdental cleaning, the use of appropriate fluoridated toothpaste, etc. are very important.

Now let’s delve into what makes a good oral home care. What makes up good oral home care? To answer this question we must bear in mind that we as humans have varied health needs. There are the needs for the general population called general recommendations, those that apply to specific individuals called personalized care and lifestyle considerations that are meant to enhance oral health and wellness. The above categorization was developed by the American Dental Association in 2017.

The general recommendations involve what most of us are already aware of and some of us are already doing. Examples are brushing your teeth twice daily, using a fluoridated toothpaste, cleaning in between the teeth daily, eating healthy diets that are limited in the content of sugar and finally seeing your dentists twice a year for dental prophylaxis and treatment of periodontal diseases.

The personalized recommendations can be viewed in the sense of one having a tailored suit that is unique to that person alone. In other words, these are recommendations that are tailored uniquely to certain groups or individuals among the general population, who are at an increased risk of certain diseases. These recommendations include the design of personalized home care regimen specific for oral hygiene, direction concerning lifestyle changes, guidance on the use of some dental products and mechanical devices for an improve oral home care.

With regard to  lifestyle considerations, dentists can provide, promote or direct patients to information on lifestyle behaviors and/or services that can aid in reducing the risk of problems and improving overall oral health. Examples include avoiding quack dentists, tobacco products, oral piercings, and acquiring the behaviour of consuming fluoridated water.

Dear reader, I hope this post has been helpful and that it would inspire you in making healthy choices easily from now onwards. Remember, your oral home care is very important and can make your oral health last a lifetime.

Thank you and kindly leave a comment or feedback.

The issue of quacks in Dentistry

In our quest to introduce this blog to you, we would love to emphasize that each and every one of us should visit a dental professional. By a professional we mean someone who is qualified and certified as well as having the necessary knowledge to handle the patients’ needs. It is in view of this that we want to tackle the issue of quacks in dentistry.

According to the online Merriam Webster dictionary “a quack is an ignorant, misinformed or dishonest practitioner of medicine.” Just like in medicine, there are quacks in dentistry as well, particularly in communities where there are no professionals to meet their dental needs.

In the event of having any dental issue or problem the first thing to do is get in touch with your professional oral health care provider.

In Ghana, the safest place to meet these professionals are at certain hospitals or clinics of your choice where the service is being offered.

 Why must you seek these professionals instead of anyone else? They have dedicated themselves to studying the mouth and related structures and have the necessary know-how to give you the safest possible care.

Should you visit a quack, they may be able to attempt to help you but end up complicating issues for you later. Something that you may not have the money or time available to restoring.

Why “Everything dentistry”?

People are being conscious of their health in recent times, unlike the past where hospital visits were only done during critical or emergency situations.

However the relevance of seeking health services especially in Africa remains closely linked to critical and emergency situations; with priority being placed on general health more than oral health or dentistry.

In addition, there are certain myths and misinformation about dentistry amongst the populace which this blog seeks to refute with factual information and from a professional point of view.

Consequentially, this blog seeks to educate the African populace on dentistry, inform as well as offer consultancy services virtually at the convenience of its target audience.

Information will cover oral health topics on children, adults and elderly who turn to the internet for factual scientific information, clarification and guidance. Feel free to share the posts and kindly reach out to our contact on any further inquiries you may need.

You are the reason for this blog.

Welcome!

WHY I CHOSE TO BECOME A DENTIST (PART 1)

Today I am going to share my personal story as to why I chose to become a dentist!

In the year 2007, I entered St. Augustine’s College in Cape Coast as a first year senior high student, with the aim of starting an educational and life journey towards becoming a world renowned chemist.

Why chemist? After all it was not a popular profession amongst folks in my country. In fact, most parents would have advised their wards against such a notion because it wasn’t a wealthy profession compared to being a doctor or a lawyer. But for me I loved chemistry, secondly it was one of those subjects that I could easily make meaning of with little to no stress. The parts and pieces just fell seamlessly into place in mind. Speaking of my mind, I was of the opinion that I was on a personal journey of discovering some unknown chemical element or phenomenon in that field.

 Although some of my friends were opinionated that I was blessed with enough intelligence to carve a niche for myself in medicine, however my personal values back then were opposed to the fact that medical doctors in Ghana were always on the front pages of the media with incessant strikes or threat of striking. And at one time a prominent doctor made it known to the rest of the country that people die every day and it is no news and no fault of theirs but is the casualty of their occupation. They were working within the confines of the laws of the land to get what they deserve in terms of their work efforts. Listening to this, I became so surprised that a professional sworn to protect and save human lives could be so non-empathetic due to some “parochial” interest. This event would influence me to the point that I would never even considered the thought of wanting to become a medical doctor or have anything to do with the health field for those years.

However, during my second year of Senior High School (SHS) an incident involving one of my then closest friend happened during a mathematics class.  This event would subconsciously cause me to reconsider my initial stance but in a modified metered manner when it came to choosing a future career in the course of my final year, leading me to eventually choose dentistry.

The story begins when my close friend whose name we shall refer to as Kwame here due to privacy reasons entered the scene with a broken upper front tooth.

Kwame who was and still is one of the most brilliant people I had known [ I mean you can argue with me on this but still that is my resolve, it takes real brains to do coding and computer engineering stuff ], nevertheless this dental issue was affecting his confidence and psyche. You must be aware that some teenagers can be so callous when it comes to teasing and making fun of their friends even if that condition was no fault of the person. After all accidents do happen, it is one of the spices of life. Yet for a teacher to inadvertently add salt and pepper to my friend’s woes and eventually give these teenagers a sort of moral justification to tease him is what really broke the camel’s back. What did this teacher do? He called my friend “Mr. Teethman” during his class, now I do not know why he forgot to address him by his name or whether he was just being descriptive, but this single event would lead to a name that would end up being tagged with my friend until we finished high school. It would also give some of my colleagues then some form of moral justification to continue to tease him.

To be continued…